Retreats Bibliography Example


A bibliography is a listing of the books, magazines, and Internet sources that you use in designing, carrying out, and understanding your science fair project. But, you develop a bibliography only after first preparing a background research plan — a road map of the research questions you need to answer. Before you compose your bibliography, you will need to develop your background research plan.

With your background research plan in hand, you will find sources of information that will help you with your science fair project. As you find this information it will be important for you to write down where the sources are from. You can use the Bibliography Worksheet to help you, just print out a few copies and take them with you to the library. As you find a source, write in all of the necessary information. This way, when you are typing your bibliography you won't need to go back to the library and find any missing information. The more information you write down about your source, the easier it will be for you to find if you want to read it again.

When you are writing your report, you will use the sources in your bibliography to remind you of different facts and background information you used for your science fair project. Each time you use some information from a source, you will need to cite the source that it came from. To cite a source, simply put the author's name and the date of the publication in parentheses (Author, date) in your text. If the person reading your report wants to find the information and read more about it, they can look up the reference in your bibliography for more detail about the source. That is why each source you use must be listed in a detailed bibliography with enough information for someone to go and find it by themselves.

Your bibliography should include a minimum of three written sources of information about your topic from books, encyclopedias, and periodicals. You may have additional information from the Web if appropriate.

Examples of Bibliography Formats

There are standards for documenting sources of information in research papers. Even though different journals may use a slightly different format for the bibliography, they all contain the same basic information. The most basic information that each reference should have is the author's name, the title, the date, and the source.

Different types of sources have different formatting in the bibliography. In American schools, the two most commonly used guidelines for this formatting are published by the MLA (Modern Language Association) and the APA (American Psychological Association).

The MLA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called Works Cited. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common MLA formats for your use: MLA Format Examples.

The APA guidelines call for the bibliography to be called the Reference List. Science Buddies has summarized some of the most common APA formats for your use: APA Format Examples.

Your teacher will probably tell you which set of guidelines to use.

On the Science Buddies website we use the following guidelines:

  • APA format for online sources
  • MLA format for all other sources
  • APA (author, date, page) format for citations in our articles

Getting Started

Download and print the Science Buddies Bibliography Worksheet. Keep several copies with you and fill in the information as you do your research. When you are finished, type the information from the worksheet into a formatted bibliography using the examples listed above.

Sample Bibliographies

Sample Bibliography: MLA Works Cited Format
Sample Bibliography: APA Reference List Format

Bibliography Checklist

What Makes a Good Bibliography?For a Good Bibliography, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question
Have you included at least 3 sources of written information on your subject? (If you include Web pages, they should be in addition to the written sources.)Yes / No
Have you included complete information to identify each of your sources (author's name, the title, the date, and where it was published)?Yes / No
Have you used the proper format for each of your sources? Most teachers prefer the MLA or APA formats. Yes / No
Is your Bibliography in alphabetical order, by author's last name?Yes / No
Do you have sources of information to answer all of your research questions?Yes / No

Citation and Style Guides

General Citation and Style Guidelines
■ VU’s Jean and Alexander Heard Library: Style Guides and Other Writing Aides
■ University of Wisconsin-Madison: Citing References in Your Paper
■ Bedford St. Martin’s Research and Documentation Online
■ The Elements of Style (Strunk and White)

Specific Manuals of Style

MLA (Modern Language Association)
■ University of Wisconsin-Madison
■ The OWL at Purdue

APA (American Psychological Association)
■ University of Wisconsin-Madison
■ The OWL at Purdue

Chicago Manual of Style Online (Quick Guide)
■ University of Wisconsin-Madison

CSE (Council of Science Editors) [formerly CBE (Council of Biology Editors)]
■ University of Wisconsin-Madison

APSA (American Political Science Association)
■ University of Wisconsin-Madison

ASA (American Sociological Association)

■ Quick Tips for ASA Style

AAA (American Anthropological Association)

■ American Anthropological Association

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Vanderbilt University’s Jean and Alexander Heard Library
Details what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Links to VU Honor Council’s page.

Plagiarism: What It Is and How to Avoid It
Definition and examples for quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): Avoiding Plagiarism
Overview of challenges and circumstances. Tips for safe practices and an exercise.

Washington State University: Cultural Perspectives on Plagiarism
Focuses on American universities’ expectations regarding plagiarism and methods of determining common knowledge.

Duke University: Avoiding Plagiarism (PowerPoint)
Begins with definitions and consequences, and continues with steps to avoiding plagiarism in all aspects of the research process.

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